MR2 SpyderChat banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I'm new to the forum so please direct me if I picked the wrong subforum for this post.

I recently bought an 01 Spyder as a DD, and am in the market for tires to brave the coming Snow Belt winter. Last year I had my AE101 out on Nokian Hakkas which was great; for the Spyder, though, I'm feeling a little defeated. Nokian doesn't seem to make snow tires in the size range the Spyder wants on its rear (although they apparently used to). In fact, I can't find any new snow tires in either 205/50R15 or 215/45R16 sizes from any manufacturer...there's a spattering of years-old leftover inventory that I'm not sure I want to trust, and a few 3PMSF-rated all-seasons, and that seems to be it.

I cross-referenced that size chart posted a few years ago and found some dwidling inventory of 2022-produced (but now discontinued) Bridgestone and Pirelli snow tires sized at 205/40R17, which I'm apprehensive about because I was always told to go higher profile when possible for winter tires, not lower. Finally, tirerack.com seems to want me to buy 195/55R15 Continentals which seem perfectly fine as a tire, but that would cut my front/rear offset in half which has me concerned about handling.

Any advice? I'm not experienced enough with the dynamics of this car yet to know how to weight the tradeoffs involved in my options here. To sum up, for new actual snow tires it seems like my choice is between a lower profile yet proper "exterior" sized option vs a 10mm thinner rear tire which would lessen the front/rear offset. Also, if anyone knows of a good tire option that I haven't referenced, please share!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,734 Posts
You really want to get tires in a matched set front and rear. Mounting front and rear of different models is very risky. You can get very nasty handling surprises. That said, I don't know what is available in snow tires. There are a few options for all season tires. For example, Kumho PA31 are available in the OE sizes.

The best solution is to acquire a junker for times when the road is messy, and just park the sports car. This kind of car can be very tedious to drive in slippery conditions, even if it doesn't handle badly. The fact that it responds so quickly is not going to be an advantage in the snow.

You should also know that the TireRack size finder usually won't show you staggered sets of tires, even though it gives you the option of searching them. You have to look for matched sets on your own. I suggest that you look for the rear size first, and then see if there is a suitable match for the front in the same model. You may need to go up or down a centimeter to find something that will work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,444 Posts
Snow tires are fine to go 195 square...the point of having them isn't to maximize your handling. If they're on the car you should never be driving to the limit of their grip. The Spyder handles quite well in the snow, likely due to the engine weight over the driven wheels. I've driven many winter miles on my Spyders however as @rmeller said, making a mistake can be very unforgiving.

The other consideration is ground clearance...if you're on stock suspension its no issue but on coilovers you really need to be aware the days following a snow storm when it becomes rock hard ice. I did eventually end up getting a beater car for the winter & camping, etc. however back in the day I was running Blizzaks with no complaints.
 
  • Like
Reactions: slondr

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
I bought a cheap set of old Honda rims and mounted 185/60/15 Hakka 10s to them, and I'll be putting them on the car tonight when I get the car back from the shop. They'll be a tiny bit bigger than the stock size, but shouldn't much of an issue otherwise. 1010 tires has a good calculator for checking how off the speedo will be with different tire sizes.
Tire Automotive tire Light Tread Wheel


Only other thing I'd do is consider getting an undercoating spray like fluid film or krown done if they salt the roads where you are. Winter is not kind to things that can rust.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
548 Posts
I’ve always gone with a smaller wheel and taller aspect ratio on snow tires, which I believe is a general rule of thumb. Might be why find the wide sizes is difficult. On our Elantra GT we run 215/45R17 performance tires but 205/55R16 snow tires.

You can certainly go square as suggested above. If you have space to store them, having the snow tires mounted on separate rims makes life much easier. Then you can swap them out yourself without resorting to explosions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,553 Posts
Having lived in the snow belt for many years with many cars, there are a number of considerations. Basically, there are a number of different conditions
  • Cold roads. Traction is a function of the rubber compound, which is why summer performance tires don't work well in the cold. Almost any all-season tire works well in the cold.
  • Ice. Traction is again mainly a function of rubber compound and somewhat on the thread design to remove any surface water. Some winter / all-season tires are pretty good on ice, and some are so-so. None are going to be great
  • Light or packed snow. Rubber compound is still a major factor, but now tread pattern is more important as well as ground pressure. Often a narrower tire "digs" in better and works well. Many all-season tires or less aggressive winter only tires work fine.
  • Deep snow and loose snow. Tread pattern and ground clearance are the big factors here. If the snow is deep enough to pack under the car, even a very aggressive winter tire won't help. A narrower tire will normally work much better in deep snow.
So the first requirement is to decide what conditions are most likely. Sometimes an all-season is OK if you don't expect deep snow or won't need to drive in deep snow. But if you expect deep snow (you live in a snow belt like upper New York) and have no other transportation options, go full winter, skinny width and tall diameter, and drive very carefully in the dry as you will give up a lot of traction in the dry. Regardless of the tire, performance and handling will probably be different.

As suggested, get a set of cheap steel wheels if possible. There are a number of cars that use 15x6 wheels 4x100 bolt pattern, 45 offset, and the same center bore 54.1 cm. Some Corolla, Yaris and others use this size. But maybe the best solution is to get an old econobox beater with real aggressive snow tires and park the Spyder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Lots of good responses here - thanks all!

I do plan on getting a cheap set of rims for the tires, which is how I've handled snow tire management in the past. We get pretty intense blizzards here, so I'm definitely looking for a dedicated snow tire.

I see all over that putting less than a 20mm stagger on the Spyder is a recipe for disaster, but if I'm thinking about that and consciously driving slower, maybe that's less of an issue? Even then, I'm not saying I'd go square, just down to a 10mm stagger.
You really want to get tires in a matched set front and rear. Mounting front and rear of different models is very risky. You can get very nasty handling surprises.
Good point, I wasn't even thinking about that. Should I generally prefer "predictable" (relatively speaking) oversteer vs possibly unpredictable handling from mismatched tire models? That seems logical.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
Don't mismatch winter tire models unless you're doing some wild shit lol

Ive ran blizzaks on the MR2 for a few years, currently have Blizzak WS90. I more or less maintained the stagger but the sizing is a little off.

They are really good in the snow and rain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Don't mismatch winter tire models unless you're doing some wild shit lol

Ive ran blizzaks on the MR2 for a few years, currently have Blizzak WS90. I more or less maintained the stagger but the sizing is a little off.

They are really good in the snow and rain.
Do you know what sizes specifically you have?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
One alternative is to get a pair of used FL 16" Spyder wheels. Then you can stick with your Nokia Hakkas. You can get Hakkas R5 in: 185/55R15 for the front and 195/50R16 for the rear. Around 5.5% wider in the rear, so a little bit of stagger. But hey, we are talking Winter / Snow / Slow driving - aren't we ??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
548 Posts
I’ve got Michelin X-Ice XI3 for our Elantra GT which are awesome for ice and packed snow. Probably the best studless tires for those conditions. Nokian Hakkaplatas are supposed to be better for deep snow, and of course Blizzaks are good too. All of the top winter tires make a huge difference in very cold conditions as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
1 week on and I am really enjoying the Hakkas so far, my neighbourhood is a skating rink right now but the main roads are clear and the car barely notices a difference. The studs are a bit noisy on the road though I know I'll be glad to have them when everything turns to ice again. And the added bonus of the skinny square set up is that it is very easy to go slideways through turns when you mat the pedal :p
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top